twiney instruments

< Previous | Next >

Lillith Parkin

New Member
Polish
Hello everyone :)

I'm translating a text on Thomas Ades's music. There's one word whose meaning I can't find anywhere. Does anyone happen to know what "twiney" means, as in "folk music, which he loved for the sounds of the earthy voices and twiney instruments"?
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    From a New York Times article:
    In the house was a big box of recordings, all those “classical great things,” as he put it, with “odds and ends of folk music,” which he loved for the sounds of the earthy voices and “twiney instruments.”
    There are quotes around exactly quoted phrases from the interview. The writer of the article didn't put quotes around "earthy voices" but did around "twiney instruments" so it seems the writer of the article thinks this is an unusual thing to say, possibly an "invented" word or phrase.

    My guesses to the meaning are that Ades thinks the instruments sound either "twine-y" (twisted like twine?) or possibly "twangy + whiney" thus inventing a portmanteau - twiney.
     

    Lillith Parkin

    New Member
    Polish
    Many thanks for the suggestions. Much appreciated.

    Here's another hint. "Northumberland Words - A Glossary of the Words Used in the County of Northumberland and on the Tyneside" (available through Google Books) lists the verb "twine": to twist the mouth, to cry petulantly as a child does. Twisty-twiney, a constantly crying child. Hence twiney applied to an invalid.

    On the other hand, as far as I know, Ades grew up in north London, so I don't know why he would use the word as it is (used to be?) used in Northumberland.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top